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Dealing With De-Dupe Doubts

Data de-duplication has become a hot technology, given the urgent need storage managers have to reduce the bulk of backed-up data. And users appear happy with it -- despite a range of questions regarding vendor claims.

A word on the market: Besides early implementers Avamar, Data Domain, and Diligent, other vendors like Falconstor and Sepaton are getting ready to include data de-duplication into products. Symantec has introduced it. Meanwhile, consolidation is underway as EMC spent $165 million to buy Avamar earlier this month, and ADIC (now Quantum) shelled out $63 million to buy Rocksoft in March. (See EMC Picks Up Avamar, ADIC in De-Dupe Deal, and Symantec Dips Into De-Dupe.)

Each of the key de-duplication players claims striking consolidation ratios -- figures that don't appear to be playing out in actuality. Despite this, the level of consolidation users are really getting is good enough to satisfy them for now.

"We have two boxes. I'm getting about 12:1 [consolidation] on one and 9:1e on the other," says network administrator Lance Jeffrey of Idaho Central Credit Union. He's using de-duplication gear from Data Domain, which claims its systems can achieve 20:1 to 50:1 ratios.

Jeffrey explains the disparity between the vendor's claim and what he's getting down to the amount of image files on his network, which aren't as easy to de-dupe as other kinds of files.

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